Gym Memberships and Ice Cream

Updated: Sep 7, 2021

The $1.8 billion gym membership

According to, 5.1 million Americans are spending $1.8 billion on gym memberships each year that they do not even use. As you can imagine, January is the busiest month of the year when it comes to new gym memberships. Even less surprising is that as many as 30% of new gym goers bail out by the end of March and 80% don't even make it past the month of May.

I believe we all make a conscientious effort toward good health. You didn't wake up this morning and say, "I think I'm going to trash my health today by eating a large pepperoni pizza and a pint of chunky monkey ice cream," did you? I am convinced that most people have good intentions about being healthy. Why, then, do so many give up before they've even begun?

Bottom line is this: We are creatures of habit - emotional, instinctive, and, to some degree, predictable.

"We are what we repeatedly do."

~ Aristotle

How, then, does one break the cycle and stay committed and disciplined? The top performers in the world, whether in athletics, business, or even fitness, who have had great success have found a mentor or a coach. It should be no surprise that gym goers who use a personal trainer/coach are more likely to experience better results. A coach helps to guide, correct, encourage, and motivate, which creates a bridge to success.

The same can be said about investing. Like our health, investing requires long-term commitment and discipline. Uncertainty, market volatility, and do-it-yourself web-based platforms can easily disrupt an investors intentions of staying disciplined for the long-term, 15-20-30 years. Inevitably investor fatigue sets in resulting in investor bail out. According to DALBAR, studies indicate that investors abandon their investment strategy about every 3-4 years. This can have devastating consequences to an investment portfolio and the dreams you intend for it to fund.

An investor coach can help you navigate the fog around investing, helping you clarify your true purpose for money and your life, so that you can focus more on living your life rather than stressing out over your assets.

At the end of the day, just do it for the ice cream.

Jim Gaffigan - Ice Cream


The Secure Act Impacts Your Retirement

The Secure Act - What You Need To Know

President Trump signed the SECURE Act this week as part of the government’s spending bill and it will inevitably affect most retirement savers, for better or worse.

The SECURE legislation, which stands for “Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement”, puts into place numerous provisions intended to strengthen retirement security across the country.

There are three main provisions of the SECURE Act I want to focus on that will affect retirees and beneficiaries.

Increasing the age for Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs)

Previously, qualified account holders such as those with a 401(k) or IRA had to withdraw required minimum distributions (RMD) in the year they turned age 70.5. The SECURE Act increases that age to 72.

Americans who turned 70.5 years old in 2019 will still need to withdraw their required minimum distributions this year, and failure to do so results in a 50% penalty of their RMD. For those who turned 70.5 in 2019 who failed to take their RMD, there is still time. You have until April 1, 2020 to take your RMD, but remember that you will have to take a second distribution by December 31, 2020.

Increasing the contribution age

The bill also eliminates the maximum age for traditional IRA contributions, which was previously capped at 70.5 years old. As Americans live longer, an increasing number continue employment beyond traditional retirement age. An IRA contribution can be made as long as the saver receives compensation from earned income. Beware, you cannot make contributions and take RMDs simultaneously.

No more Stretch IRAs

Required minimum distributions have also changed for non-spousal account inheritors. Under the current law, beneficiaries who did not inherit their accounts from a husband and wife are in some cases allowed to withdraw required minimum distributions for the span of their lives, which could be a few years, or a few decades. The amount of the distribution is calculated based on a few factors, including life expectancy and beneficiary age.

The SECURE Act requires beneficiaries withdraw all assets of an inherited account within 10 years. There are no required minimum distributions within those 10 years, but the entire balance must be distributed after the 10th year. This change can be problematic for some beneficiaries, especially if they are in their 40s and 50s and at the peak of their earning years. Even though beneficiaries under the age of 59.5 are not subject to early withdraw penalties, limiting the time frame in which someone can distribute money from an inherited account means potentially boosting the tax burden those distributions will cause.

If you find yourself inheriting an IRA or 40(k) from someone other than your spouse, you may want to seek out the advice of your tax advisor so you are not hit with any surprises.


Your portfolio is trying to tell you something. Are you listening?

It is amazing the number of investors whose risk tolerance does not align with their portfolio allocation. "I'm aggressive" or "I'm conservative" is no longer adequate or suitable in today's investing environment.

How much risk do you feel comfortable with? How much risk do you need to reach your goals? How much risk are you currently taking? Your portfolio is desperately trying to tell you this and much more. Are you listening?

To find your Risk Number, click the link below.



We would like to introduce our newest team member, Sena McDaniel. Please help us welcome her!

Sena is a long time friend of the Guernsey Family and we are so happy to have her with us. We first met Sena when her daughter, Sydney and our middle son Noah started pre-K at Aletheia Christian Academy together about 15 years ago.

So, the next time you call into the office, be sure to welcome her!


Investing Reimagined - Friday, March 13, 2020

Blue Wahoo's Baseball Season Opener - April 9, 2020 (call Sena McDaniel for ticket information)

Guernsey Sporting Clay Shoot - Friday, May 22, 2020 (call Doug Guernsey for details)


Be An Advocate

Do you want to empower families in discovering their True Purpose for Money?

Do you want to help equip others to defeat the Wall Street bullies?

Do you want to see families discover for themselves how investing works and to be left with the knowledge to make powerful choices for themself, their family, and their future?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you can be an advocate for those you love and care about.

Here's how simple it is:

1) Invite someone to join you at one of our upcoming events.

2) Forward this to someone you care about.

Most people will not pursue these things without someone like you advocating for them.

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